Aug 03, 2016 - Sale 2421

Sale 2421 - Lot 41

Price Realized: $ 11,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
81x29 3/4 inches, 205 3/4x75 1/2 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.
Condition A- / B+: light water staining in bottom margin; minor losses at top edge; creases in margins and image. Two-sheets.
Sarah Bernhardt's favorite play was Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece, La Dame aux Camelias. The poster Mucha designed for the 1896 revival also turned out to be one of Bernhardt's favorites (ten years later she used the same image to advertise her American Farewell Tour). True to form, Mucha captures the spirit of the production in his graphics, depicting the camelias both at the bottom of the poster and behind the actress's ear. He also includes two hearts in the decorative border to remind viewers that the play is a dramatic love story. And as was his custom, he groups the typography together at both the top and bottom of the image. Here, however, he also adds the genius touch of an artist with the deepest admiration for his subject, depicting Bernhardt in all of her grace and elegance, clothed in a magnificent costume and placed sublimely against a delicate background of silver stars. A masterpiece of Art Nouveau design. This is the rare version before text, and before the addition of the final color plate, violet. Rennert / Weill 13 (var 1), Lendl / Paris 4, DFP-II 627, Maitres 144, Weill p. 40, Maitres 1900 p. 24, Mucha / Bridges A11, Art Nouveau p. 110.